The ContourHD, small as a travel tube of sunscreen, fits onto a pack strap, goggle strap, or sunglass arm to record wide-angle action up to 135 degrees. “Walking up the talus slope toward glaciers on Anderson Pass in Denali National Park looks like an epic quest,” says our tester. The anodized-aluminum housing is all-conditions tough–rain and mud never tripped it up. Its oversized switches are easy to operate, even with gloves.
Sound quality is above average for a helmet cam—the pinhole mic has a range of about five feet—and it shoots 30 frames per second, which stabilizes shots, even at 1080p. Use a 32GB micro SD card (instead of the included 2GB), and it captures eight hours of HD. Downside: The tiny lens doesn’t adjust well to dim lighting. $329; 4.3 oz.; contour.com See all "essential" reviews from the 2011 Gear